This is it. The end of the beginning. What started as a seemingly startling change in the X-Men slowly became inevitable as everything we knew changed. Timelines ended and began, changing everything from Year One onward. We have seen the mutants strive for survival through peace and war. Now, they aim for something more akin to domination through politics and capitalism. They will use humanity’s systems against itself, manipulating our greed and fear. And we can’t blame them at all. Mutant kind always loses, always faces extinction.
Powers of X #6 opens with the most important scene in X-Men history, yet again. Moira meets Xavier in Year One, and she tells him eveything. The story then jumps to Year One Thousand, where we learn the fate of the last mutants. At least, a potential fate. Once again, the timeline restarts. The story jumps back to the most important scene in Mutant History, but this time we see what happens next.
The story jumps to journals as Moira records her work on getting Xavier fully on her side. Magneto and Apocalypse get entries as well. As always with Hickman, the entries create as many questions as they answer. The comic ends with a return to the Return of the Jedi-esque celebration on Krakoa. The mutants feel elated and defiant. They think this time they broke the chain of extinction.
The Hickman X-Men event redefined not just mutants, but all of Marvel. As much as Hickman kept the event isolated from the rest of the Marvel Universe, the repercussions will be felt across the universe. A thousand years changed for the planet hardly remains closed off.
Hickman wrote an amazing introduction to a whole new and different era of X-Men by changing everything we knew about them. Very similar to how he tested the morals of the avengers during his years long run, he tests the X-Men, particularly Xavier. He gives the most principled characters impossible situations, and he lets the characters adapt to the new scenarios.
The character studies he creates test the heroes in ways no other writer can. That remains Hickman’s greatest gift: knowing how to push each character to their ethical limit. Not in a blunt way, torturing characters with death, grief, and anger to see if they snap. He gives the characters impossible choices, and he lets the characters break themselves as they struggle to serve their ideals and protect what is most important to them.
The art remains stellar. While many events feel rushed towards the end (except for Doomsday Clock, whose schedule answers to no man), the art feels fully realized on every page. The highlight of the event for the coloring remains the Krakoan celebrations, which remain bright and colorful. The team embraced all the perks of creating mutant art with epic beauty and color explosions rarely seen in comics.
Verdict: Buy! Marvel could not put together a better team to create a new, striking era in X-men. The event spins out now into several series, and I want to read every one so I don’t miss a thing. I can’t name another event that made me feel this way after it was done.